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Dickens’s David Copperfield – Part II

Dr. White discusses sentimentality and its characteristics, explaining that it focuses on emotions and wallows in them for their own sake, and pointing out that true artistry allows one to respond on one’s own, without manipulation. Dickens’ work was touched by sentimentality, he explains, particularly in some of his death scenes. Dr. White discusses some of the episodes of his own life that Dickens put into this work, which was partly autobiographical. David’s influences and hero-figures are examined with their respective influences upon him. Dr. White also gives some time to the character of Mr. Micawber, whom he ranks as one of the three great comic characters of literature. Finally, Dr. White touches upon the effect that Dickens had in changing child labor laws and school conditions, the state of which he dramatized in his novels, thus raising awareness of them.

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